Wedding invitations are beautiful and it’s exciting to want to mail them out. However, there are many common invitation mistakes that people make, beginning with budgeting for them. Here is a list of common invitation mistakes. This list can also apply to corporate or other special even invitations.
1. Not Knowing Your Budget
This is a big one and doing your homework can really set the groundwork before you meet with a local stationer. Decide on the type and style of invitation you want and then determine what you are willing to spend.
Typical budget guidelines are to allow 3-5 percent of your wedding budget for stationery BUT bear in mind that what needs to be included are invitations (Save the Dates if you’re sending them), programs, menus, place cards, plus maps, itineraries, napkins and any other accessories you’d like plus postage. Postage alone will cost about $1.12-$1.32 each for an invitation that weighs between 1 and 2 ounces with an RSVP. Anything mailed out of the country will cost even more.
This is where a custom designer can come in handy, as they have the knowledge and skill to create something that fits a realistic budget if you give your designer the facts.
2. Not Allowing Enough Time to Order Invitations
Don’t put wedding stationery at the bottom of your priority list. In the middle of a busy wedding season, stationery designers sometimes require appointments 4 to 6 months before the desired mailing date.
3. Ordering Too Few (or Too Many) Invitations
This can be a costly error. Make sure you are ordering 10 to 15 percent more than your guest list and, if you’re hand addressing or having a calligrapher do it for you, order about the same number of extra envelopes. (Speaking of calligraphers, hire one as soon as you hire the stationery designer so you are on their schedule too.)
Custom stationers will help you with ordering the proper number of invitations–and undoubtedly are able to recommend a calligrapher, too. You may run into problems when ordering online because they frequently sell in minimum sets. Remember you don’t need 150 invitations for 150 guests–they are counted per household.
4. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
This is one of the costliest mistakes you can make. Nothing looks worse than misspelling the groom’s name! So many things can go wrong. We’ve heard of Save the Dates sent out with no names or dates, RSVPs with no reply-by dates, phrases like “the honor of your presents,” wrong phone numbers, wrong street names for the church and reception venue, and others.
You’re the one who knows if the information is correct or not.
Get some other family members to look them over, enlist the help of a friend with superior grammatical skills, as well as have the groom or someone from his family review the proofs also.
A rush reprint will be very expensive if you don’t catch mistakes in the proof stage.
5. When it Comes to Design, Less is More
Including a personal element such as a monogram, the lace pattern from your dress, architectural elements from your venue is lovely–putting them all in the same design is too much. This is when less can definitely be more–pick one or two key elements to add to your design.
6. Giving Your Guests Too Much Time to Reply
Set a deadline no more than three or four weeks from the mail date or they could forget they’re supposed to RSVP.
7. Forgetting to Put Stamps on the RSVP Envelope or Card
Whether it’s a postcard or an envelope, this is a detail that is frequently overlooked. It is nearly impossible to steam open that outer envelope once it has been sealed!
8. Buying Postage Before You Know What the Invitation Weighs
It’s exciting and you want to be ready to mail the invitations the moment they are finished, but hold off on buying postage until you know what the invitation weighs. A typical invitation can weigh anywhere from 1.4 to over 3 ounces. If they are too thick or a non-standard shape, that also adds to the postage cost.
It’s perfectly okay to ask your designer what they think a design might cost to mail. Anyone who has experience working with various shapes and types of paper can give you a rough estimate and let you know what the premium is for odd shapes or variations in thickness.
9. Assembling Your Own Can Go So Wrong
You can save money by assembling your own invitations but bear in mind that designers have a lot of experience doing this and own some special equipment that helps align the pieces. The more pieces that require gluing, the more opportunities there are for things to go wrong.